More than 500 million people worldwide suffer from food allergies. More than 300 million, or about 5% of the global population, now suffer from asthma (Chang 2011). Allergic rhinitis, a risk factor for asthma, affects up to 30% of adults and 40% of children (Wallace 2008).
Aging humans tend to develop some degree of decline in brain (cognitive) function, and research shows this deterioration can occur as early as mid-20s. Symptoms can include:
- decreased ability to maintain focus
- decreased problem solving capacity
Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast tissue divide and grow without control. The cell cycle is the natural mechanism that regulates the growth and death of cells. When the normal cell regulators malfunction and cells do not die at the proper rate, there is a failure of cell death (apoptosis) therefore cell growth goes unchecked.
Emerging research has revealed that levels of cholesterol account for only a portion of the cardiovascular risk profile, while the properties of the molecules responsible for transporting cholesterol through the blood, called lipoproteins, offer important insights into the development of atherosclerosis.
Constipation is defined as having infrequent bowel movements, often fewer than three per week, and difficulty passing stools. Most people experience occasional constipation, but about 14% of adults suffer from chronic constipation. Many people turn to laxative medications, but these can lead to dependence and troubling side effects.
Depression is a state of psyche characterized by a spectrum of negative feelings ranging from minor unhappiness to overwhelming despair. Though generally associated with emotional or psychological symptoms, depression can be accompanied by severe pain or other physical symptoms as well.
Diabetes is caused by abnormal metabolism of glucose, either because the body does not produce enough insulin or because the cells become desensitized to the effects of insulin.
Possible complications in diabetes include damage to eyes, nerve tissue, kidneys, blood vessels and cardiovascular system, and painful peripheral nerve damage.
Loss of vision is one of the most feared consequences of aging. Adults with poor vision are at a significantly higher risk for many social and health problems including depression, social withdrawal, accidents, and self-administered medication errors. Common causes of blindness in adults include macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.
Gout is a form of arthritis in which excess uric acid forms crystals in joints and other tissues causing painful inflammation. Gout attacks cause a characteristic painful inflammation of one or more joints of the extremities. An acute attack of gout, although brief and usually subsiding spontaneously, can be debilitating.
Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic conditions in older adults. Next to arthritis, it is the second most common handicapping condition. Although hearing loss is more common with age, approximately 8.5% of American adults aged 20 to 29 have significant hearing loss, a number that appears to be rising.